So June 23, I had officially wrapped up my junior year of high school, which also meant saying "screw you" to AP U.S. History once and for all (I seriously wondered early on if my brain had some sort of chemical malfunction normally induced by drugs when I decided to sign up for that class my sophomore year). Granted, it was a good class, but when I signed up for it, I was smart enough to go for what would look good on my transcript...and then I completely ruled out the performance factor (by the way, if you think my use of the word "smart" was sarcastic, go ahead and stick a gold star right next to your name :) ). I'll be honest, in years past, I've never really had to bust my ass to get the grades I wanted; normally I can rack up all A's except for a few spot B's without any effort. AP American, however, was one rude awakening. I went in treating it just like American Experience from sophomore year. And it showed. I averaged high 90s in American Experience whereas I barely scraped into the 70s in AP American. For some reason, my mood about that class was just sour right from the first test we took. I don't know if my learning style didn't click with my teacher's teaching style, or if I found him to be unapproachable whenever I needed help (seriously, if the air the teacher carries about himself (or herself) makes you feel stupid when you walk into a classroom, you're probably not going to want to seek help from them. At least not if you're me.), or if I just found myself not thoroughly loving the material (remember? I signed up for that class just so that it would look good on my transcript. *facepalms*). But if there are any positives I can draw from taking that class, it sure as hell got my feet wet with regards to what college is going to be like. And now I'm totally pumped for AP Literature and Composition, which I'll be taking next year. I'm even enjoying the summer assignment I have for that class :)
Anyway, my summer started off pretty uneventful; I was just kicking back and taking a break from the rigorous school year I just endured (I racked up A's from all my other classes and felt like I put on a mediocre performance in general. Funny how AP classes do that to you, huh?). My high point thus far was seeing my cousins from all the way out in Chicago. I met up with them in Rhode Island while they were visiting another one of my uncles and got to see a cousin of mine whom I haven't seen in six years (isn't that sad? Her mom's a bit possessive over her -_-). So we hung out, got to swim in the pool (the water, apparently, had too much chlorine in it, giving it a less-than-desirable color. My aunt defended that it looked like iced tea, but I countered that by saying it looked like crap.), and when we had a little down time, I taught them a card game called President, or its alternate name, Asshole, as my friends and I like to call it; we're not exactly a serious bunch, so why would we refer to it as such a prim and proper name as President? ...Well...we're still levelheaded to an extent, so we'll refer to it as President under adult supervision for good measure. *nods* Really the best parts about that game are the fact that it's every man for himself, so you could totally pull a move that'll screw someone over without it being illegal (people. Get. MAD. xD), and the ranking system is pretty ingenious as well: first person to run out of cards is the president, last person to run out of cards is the asshole. ...Wow. I just sounded like a total card shark for the last couple of lines or so. I'll explain why later :) I even showed my cousin the YWP NaNoWriMo website and showed her a little bit of my roleplaying material. Ryan and Justin Chappell are her favorite characters of mine, which doesn't surprise me xD So Thursday we journeyed all the way back up to New Hampshire, the state I've called home since I was born, and I don't know if it was just my angsty New Englander "STEP ON IT!" mentality, or if I was just eager to go back home, or if my aunt really was driving radically slow. For one, Massachusetts is GOD awful to drive through, so I was actually elated to see that I could count on one hand the number of cars on the road. Either one of my parents likely would've been doing 80, and my aunt's probably doing 50. TOPS. ...And still periodically hitting the brakes. *grabs hair in frustration* ACK! -_-...So we're just rolling along with a huge gap in front of us. I rationalized that perhaps she was so used to the dense traffic in Chicago that going over 60 was downright intimidating, but even so, part of me couldn't help thinking that they were in absolutely no rush to swing by my place, which is a bit distasteful in my point of view. They're total beach lovers. And what's lining Rhode Island's coastline? *gasps* BEACH! Within which state was the starting point of our journey northward? Rhode Island. Where was our destination? New Hampshire. Is New Hampshire known for having a particularly extensive coastline? *shakes head* Noooo...Catch my drift here? Think the theme goes along the lines of favoritism just a tad? *grumbles unintelligibly* Anyway, I come home, and I've got a select few friends who are eager to meet my cousin, so we go out for ice cream and have an awesome time just chilling out and talking, which was nice, because I was worried that my cousin would have the same reception that I had when I met her friends two and a half years ago. They tried to get me to feel up a guy I didn't know. If I hadn't been so awkward around them, I probably would've cracked a nice solid backhand across their faces; it was a total turn off. So, you guessed it, her friends didn't strike a very good chord with me, but my cousin loved my friends, which gladdened my little heart ^^ So the next day, we took a day trip up to Portland, Maine, because my parents and I like to accommodate the ocean addicts temporarily living under our roof. I immediately drew a parallel between Portland and Burlington, Vermont, because both cities have enough people for them to be considered small cities, and yet they are pedestrian friendly and have the rustic charm of small towns, which equals perfection in my eyes. The next day, my cousins and I squeezed in a few games of Asshole before the family was to sadly begin their journey back home to Chicago. I was surprised to see how quick my dog was to ditch us; my cousins piled into the van, and there's little Zippy, my Pekingese of ten years parked in the back seat and saying, "kiss my ass." Well that was a little rude of him; then again, I don't know why I was so shocked; you'd be surprised by what we've interpreted his actions as of late. Much to his discontent, we ended up peeling him out of the car and hauling him back to the house, letting the Chicagoans drive off without him. How sad.
And since then, it's been chill time for me :) If you paid ANY attention to my rambling so far, you may remember that I was going to explain why I was such a card shark. It's thanks to some kids I traveled with in Europe last summer. One rainy day in Austria, Mother Nature decided to render us unable to do anything interesting around the mountain village of Seefeld, so we just played cards in the lounge to our hearts' content. Asshole was my favorite game by a landslide, such that I ended up teaching my friends the following school year. It was all jokes :) I'll explain about my Europe trip in another post, since I feel like my fingers are about to disintegrate at the joints right now. More soon! :)